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SC directs completion of B'lore-Mysore proj

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 20: The Supreme Court today gave the green signal for the completion of the Rs 2250 crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project while imposing an exemplary cost of Rs five lakh on the State of Karnataka, terming its petition ''frivolous''.

A bench comprising Justices Ruma Pal, B N Srikrishna and Dalveer Bhandari dismissed a bunch of appeals filed by Karnataka government and others against the judgement of the State High Court which has permitted the completion of the project.

The state government in its petition has said the project was not viable.

The apex court while directing the implementation and completion of the project also imposed a cost of Rs 50000 on JD(S) MLA Mudhu Swamy for the same reason and directed both the appellants to pay the punitive cost within 4 weeks to the developer M/s Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Ltd (NICE).

Earlier, the State government had contended that 2450 acres of the acquired agricultural land was surplus and would not be required for the project.

The counsel for NICE Dushyant Dave accused former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda of trying to scuttle the project for political ends.

The government had entered into an agreement with the developer in 1997 for executing the project.

No orders for rescinding the agreement have been passed till date.

The developer also alleged that after the formation of the coalition government in 2004, Mr Gowda wrote to his son, a minister in the State Cabinet, that the project required re-consideration since the land acquistion would effect a large number of people including the farmers.

The counsel also said that the company had obtained approvals and clearances from 64 authorities in the past seven years and if the lay-out were to be changed now the project will not be financially viable as the cost will escalate. Moreover, the land projected as surplus is not at one place and is all over the cluster.

Senior counsel Anil Divan, appearing for the state government, contended the developer's claim for acquisition of a vast prime agricultural land belonging to the State and farmers was contrary to the initial technical project report submitted by the consortium in August 1995.

He also denied that the issue was covered by the Somasekara judgement as acquisition proceedings started only after the verdict was given in 1998.

The project is for the construction of an express highway connecting Bangalore to Mysore.

In the same case, the chief secretary of Karnataka was convicted for contempt of court by the state High Court for filing a false affidavit.

UNI

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